The monetisation model isn’t clear – Fairfax

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 1 June 2016
Fairfax's Tom Armstrong

Publishers are looking to diversify revenue streams as the monetisation model for print continues to be disrupted.

Speaking at the Media Summit, NewsLifeMedia CEO Nicole Sheffield said media owners don’t have a captive audience any more, which is why publishers must explore other avenues to earn consumers attention, such as events.

“The relationship consumers have with events is different to the relationship with magazines,” Sheffield said. “Vogue had its most successful year last year because it’s both digitally and socially strong, but also because it has invested in events such as Vogue’s Fashion Night Out.”

Fairfax has previously been criticised for shifting its editorial focus to property, with suggestions the publisher has become a “digital real estate company”.

Fairfax Media commercial director Tom Armstrong said there’s no point trying to protect your business from being disrupted.

“We were once a transactional advertising business, but we are now shifting our whole ad sell strategy. We listen to our clients and customers.

“We are focusing a lot on property through Domain. We are now the biggest events business in Australia and video streaming is another opportunity through Stan,” Armstrong said.

The monetisation model isn’t clear

Facebook Instant Articles and social media platforms have changed the monetisation model for publishers, offsetting content into other ecosystems.

With the introduction of these platforms, there has been profound change in publishers' monetisation capabilities.

“We used to control the environment and the monetisation of that environment. Now it’s flipped on its head. Our content is being distributed across other platforms we can’t control and it’s not clear,” Amrstrong said.

Both Armstrong and Sheffield agreed Facebook and Snapchat propose great opportunities for publishers, however the monetisation model isn't clear.

“New opportunities on social media platforms for audience reach means you they have to be worth a go, but going all in is pretty risky if you don't know how you are going to monetise that content,” Armstrong said.

News.com.au is currently having success on Snapchat, with Sheffield saying it has been brilliant for driving audience, although it is resource heavy.

Sheffield said publishers need to have an understanding of the purpose of the platform for each business, whether its for referral traffic, to build brand awareness or to make money.

“You have to understand the purpose and not get caught up in a shiny new toy,” Shieffield says.

Check out more content from the Media Summit session here.

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